Beautiful Yet Haunting: 'Torn' Portraits by Michal Macku


A Czech photographer has found a way to work with photographic emulsions and turn them into powerful portraits of anxiety. Curious? Read on to take a look at some of his photos and learn about his impressive technique!

At first glance, the photos taken by Czech photographer Michal Macku appears to be the product of skillful digital image manipulation. So, it may come as a surprise that like you and me, Michal actually shoots with film for his impressive portraits. However, the difference lies in how he works with film emulsions.

Gellage, the name of his series, also refers to the technique Michal came up with. A portmanteau of “collage” and “gelatin,” his technique involves “transferring exposed and fixed photographic emulsion onto paper.” To achieve his desired effect, he alters and moves the emulsion around then proceeds to printing the final image on quality photographic paper.

Photos via My Modern Met

This technique proves to be perfect and compelling for the themes his series explores: anxiety, depression, self-hate, and self-harm, with the subjects seemingly ripping themselves off the prints.

On his work, Michal says:

“I use the nude human body (mostly my own) in my pictures. Through the photographic process [of Gellage], this concrete human body is compelled to meet with abstract surroundings and distortions. This connection is most exciting for me and helps me to find new levels of humanness in the resulting work.”

Visit Michal Macku's Website to see more of his Gellages and find out more about his other works.

All information for this article were sourced from My Modern Met and Michal Macku's Website.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-09-10 in #lifestyle #film-emulsion #analogue-photography #lomography #gellage #torn #film-photography #analogue-lifestyle #michal-macku


  1. pam-stach
    pam-stach ·

    Absolutely amazing!

  2. exit14
    exit14 ·

    Wow! Blown away! Nice work

  3. exit14
    exit14 ·

    Wow! Blown away! Nice work

  4. revolutionary13
    revolutionary13 ·

    I already saw his work, but I did not know he shoot film. Really amazing, beautiful!

  5. blueskyandhardrock
    blueskyandhardrock ·


  6. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    No Limits

  7. bellatrice
    bellatrice ·

    He really succeeds in expression of human feelings.. Very impressive !

  8. hanibale
    hanibale ·


  9. bsdunek
    bsdunek ·

    Looks like what we call Mordencage. Very creative!

More Interesting Articles

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Chris Gloag

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-04 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Chris Gloag

    Chris Gloag is a UK based portrait photographer with an impressive portfolio of work. We were so impressed by his photos that we lent him a Petzval lens to test out. Meet Chris Gloag here.

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Tom Bates

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-05-05 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Tom Bates

    The best thing about working for Lomography is having first access to new products. Imagine everyone's excitement when the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens 2.8/32M was delivered to the headquarters in Vienna, where members of the Lomography team took turns testing this tiny yet powerful optic on various cameras. Meanwhile, Tom Bates from Marketing teased out the idyllic and colorful possibilities of shooting with the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 lens on a trip to the UK countryside.

  • Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-10 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    Photography is not only an act of documentation or communication, it is also a way of seeing the world. The camera opens our eyes and lets us see what lies behind the obvious, and we start looking at things as potential subjects of a photograph. Every leak of light unveils secrets that talented photographers turn into a piece of art. Li Hui is one of those gifted artists. We talked to her about her work and her sensitive photographs that picture a wonderful vulnerability.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Fulfilling Dreams with Dreamy Images: Kevin Biberbach

    written by zonderbar on 2015-08-31 in #people
    Fulfilling Dreams with Dreamy Images: Kevin Biberbach

    In every aspiring photographers' dream - Turn the hobby into career, leaving the part time job, putting all of the efforts into one's photography project. Kevin Biberbach did it. Biberbach is a student from Aachen, who has completed a 365-day photography project called "EVRY DAY" with his passion and insist. The project is widely getting attention throughout the internet, which includes a variety of portraits content such as wedding, family and couples. Biberbach shared to Lomography exclusively about his work, passion to photography, and also his experience with the Petzval 85 Art Lens.

  • Giles Clement: The Wayfaring Tintyper

    written by jacobs on 2015-08-27 in #people #lifestyle
    Giles Clement: The Wayfaring Tintyper

    Reminiscent of traveling photographers of the 19th century, Giles Clement tours through the country with his assistant, Zeiss (an Irish Terrier), offering everything from portrait sessions to wildly creative photographic projects for magazines and companies. And although his mode of transportation may have evolved with the times, his photographic method and gear have changed very little compared to the photographers of days past. Now, with over 3 years of tintyping experience under his belt and an impressive list of clients, he's carved a name out for himself as an accomplished tintyper and continues to spread his passion for this ages-old technique everywhere he goes.

  • First Impressions of the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens by Maou Bertrand

    written by mpflawer on 2015-08-14 in #people #lomoamigos
    First Impressions of the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens by Maou Bertrand

    LomoAmigo and French photographer Maou Bertrand is back with a series of beautiful portraits shot with the Lomography Petzval 58 Bokeh Control lens. She talks about her work and her Petzval experience in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Photo Stories: Found Film - Egypt 1966 by ehmahh

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-17 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Found Film - Egypt 1966 by ehmahh

    Found photographs are little treasures chanced upon by photographers, historians, and enthusiasts of vintage curio. At a boot fair, ehmahh found a boxful of Kodachrome slides which turned out to be travel snapshots taken in Egypt by an unknown traveler almost 50 years ago.

  • A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-10 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    There's nothing more satisfying than taking fantastic photos with a camera that you built yourself. If you've always wanted to impress your friends with your mad DIY skills, pick up a Konstruktor Camera Kit and show them what you've got! It's also a cool way to get them into Lomography, because as you build the camera you'll discover how analogue photography works. Oh, and the Konstruktor takes gorgeous photos, too - check out the gallery and see what we mean!

  • LomoAmigo Bruno Giacco

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-09-04 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Bruno Giacco

    For someone who was previously disinterested in photographic work, his newfound passion for photography is astounding. His photos have an edgy feel to them; and for someone who hasn't been shooting for a long time, his distinct style is - quite surprisingly - discernible. Meet this emerging fashion photographer from Buenos Aires who shoots on film and recently, the Diana+ Premium Glass Lens.

  • Shop News

    Check Revolog 36exp Plexus Effects!

    Check Revolog 36exp Plexus Effects!

    Feeling experimental? We have the perfect film for you. Load up a roll of Revolog Plexus 200 on your favorite 35mm camera and shoot as you normally would.

  • Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-16 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    Belarus-based lomographer Pavel Petrischev has been taking photographs for almost 30 years. He currently works as a photography professor. In this interview, he shares his unique view on shooting with film and the strange ways of fate that brought him to the community.

  • The Petzval 85 and Photographer B.A Van Sise

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-30 in #people #lomoamigos
    The Petzval 85 and Photographer B.A Van Sise

    LomoAmigo and Photographer C.S Muncy got married a few weeks ago. For his wedding portraits, he chose to work with his friend, B.A. Van Sise, who shot with the Petzval lens for the very first time for this wedding and sent us such beautiful wedding pictures. Get to know him in this interview.

  • Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    written by ciscoswank on 2015-07-10 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    The Glastonbury Festival is arguably one of the most anticipated and renowned music festivals in the world. It is a joy to be able to watch it, and a privilege to capture scenes on and off stage. Apart from creating beautiful portraits, the Petzval Lens is great for adding an albeit subtle drama to the already spectacular scenes of music festivals. Japanese photographer Taio Konishi photographed this year's Glastonbury with a Petzval 85mm Lens, and here are some of the photos. He also talks about his Petzval-meets-Glastonbury experience in this exclusive.